How many items do you have in your wardrobe? In a recent survey, 31% of the 300 French women we asked said their’s was made up of just 20 – 49 pieces, with only 11% cramming over 150 purchases into their wardrobes and 7% slimming their collection down to under 20 key pieces!

Streamlining your wardrobe can help you focus on the things you love and look great in, and make getting dressed in the morning something to look forward to rather than a last-minute hassle. Here are our top five tips to help you de-clutter and start a fresh:

How to Clear Out Your Wardrobe

1.Try everything on at the start of a season
We’re all guilty of hanging on to items a little too long. The piece might have sentimental value or maybe you’re keeping hold of it for a special occasion, like a beautiful evening dress.

So take it one step at a time – set aside a couple of hours to try all your clothes on at the start of spring and autumn to work out what to keep and what can go.

Stylist Elika Gibbs from Practical Princess says: “This is not just about fit but also about age appropriateness, lifestyle and to retire clothes that are over-worn.”

You should be left with a pile to keep and a pile to throw away or donate.

Debbie Harper stylist for Good Morning Britain and Lorraine says ‘Detoxing for summer is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your wardrobe.  When I’m looking through someone’s wardrobe we decide how likely they are to wear it again and if they actually ever wore it first time round! You won’t believe how many people have things in their wardrobe they have never worn!
So I take the item see if we can make an outfit with it that they like, and if we can it stays. If we can’t, it goes. So simple!
I would always say: never bin items recycle, either to charity or sell on the Internet.  Or organise a clothes swaps where friends swap clothes with other friends. Genius! Never throw that stuff away – fashion shouldn’t be throwaway.’

2. Hang by garment and colour

Once you have your ‘keep’ pile, get to work organising it into sections of garment type and colour coordinate within these so you quickly find what you’re looking for and pair separates easily.

Elika adds that this will help you “spot any missing links” where you need to add to your capsule wardrobe.

3. Clean and tidy

Elika stresses how important it is to clean the inside of your wardrobe at least once every six months. Pull everything out and clean with a damp microfiber cloth.

Another great tip to help prolong the life of your clothes is to make sure you use good quality matching hangers that are not too wide on the shoulder as this may stretch fabric.

And avoid metal hangers if you can. Clothes can slip off these and end up in a pile at the bottom of your wardrobe, raw edges can rip material and heavier clothes such as knits can fall out of shape.

4. Seasonal Storage

As fashion blogger Audrey Rogers told us in her fashion and beauty storage post, space is tight in Parisian apartments, so French fashionistas get smart with their storage.

Pack away your winter products in summer and vice versa so you only have out what you’re going to wear. Make use of any space under your bed with vacuum-packed storage that will compress and protect your clothes until you need them again.

Shoes were the most popular piece chosen by French women in our survey to get their signature look, with 21% of the vote ahead of shirts at 16% and bags and dresses with 11% each. Sound familiar?

5. Invest

Some 19% of the French women we asked told us they invest in core items and update these every season with a few new pieces. And this less is more approach is key to keeping your clothing collection in check.

Once you’ve completed your clear-out, learn about the key pieces our French fashionistas tipped as the key investment items in our capsule wardrobe guide.

Laura Anderson
La Redoute's PR and Social Media Manager by day. Loves a good brew, denim and Prince.

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